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confused by the use of a term - centric relation

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Old 09-05-2003, 12:19 AM   #1
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Post confused by the use of a term - centric relation

Gen Den,

Be really grateful if you could answer a quick question. I'm currently researching dentists and one thing that's thrown me is references to centric relation. I am familiar with the philosophies behind the 2 schools - functional jaw orthopedics and NM dentistry but confused by the use of a term - centric relation. Is functional jaw orthopedics - which I know you and others are happy with, based on the principle of centric relation?

I spoke to a dentist on the phone yesterday who seemed to know his stuff, but when he mentioned his treatment was based on centric relations I was thrown. There are some references to it on this board, all of which I've read, but I still can't get a handle on it. I know what it is, but don't know if this means he practices functional jaw orthopedics or not. Is centric relation something to be wary of? Is it fine if a dentist bases their philosophy on this? Think if I could just understand this term I might have finally understood all the different possiblities open to me, as I would be very happy to see a dentist who practices functional jaw orthopedics.

Many thanks,


[This message has been edited by hbep (edited 09-05-2003).]

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Old 09-06-2003, 06:47 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Kaysville, Utah USA
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I really can't answer your question about centric relation. My research has been confusing as well. With the old centric relation, the dentist used what is called a chin point maneuver to find where the jaw should center in relation with the maxilla or upper jaw They would quickly push on the chin and maneuver it down and back. I don't know if this term centric relation has migrated to the Functional Jaw Orthodontics theory of finding the place where the jaw should center by getting the condyles in the exactly correct position in the fossa or not. My dentist doesn't use this term. The old chin point maneuver is now out of favor because both the FJO and neuromuscular dentists have found that the best position for the jaw is not back and up, but down and forward. Guess it depends on if your specialist is of the old school or the new school what his theory is. The name isn't as important as what the procedure is.

Old 09-08-2003, 01:26 AM   #3
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Gen Den,

Thank you so much for your reply - very helpful. This was exactly the issue I'd become confused about, and you have finally clarified things for me. At least now I know where the confusion over the term lies - old or new school and can simply ask a dentist, if they refer to this, what they mean when they refer to centric relation. I guess, on further reflection, it means the same thing - the ideal position for the jaw - but where that position is believed to be, has changed with further study, advances etc... I clearly need to see someone who has kept up to date on the latest research.

Many, many thanks again.



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